A new editorial paper was published in Oncoscience (Volume 10) on August 17, 2023, entitled, “Cancer drug development yesterday, today and tomorrow.” In this new editorial, researchers Elzbieta Izbicka and Robert T. Streeper from New Frontier Labs discuss the history of cancer drug development and how it has evolved over time. The editorial also highlights the current state of cancer drug development and what the future may hold.
The “war on cancer” began with the National Cancer Act, a United States federal law intended “to amend the Public Health Service Act so as to strengthen the National Cancer Institute in order to more effectively carry out the national effort against cancer” that was signed by President Richard Nixon on December 23, 1971. As the 50th anniversary is now two years gone, the war has not been necessarily a blitzkrieg. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, today “it is the best of times, it is the worst of times” for cancer drugs. Great progress in cancer therapy has been made thanks to the combined impact of better supportive care, ever improving drugs and earlier cancer detection.
“On the other hand, the Anthropocene era brings new challenges due to increased human impact of environmental factors, which along with changes in diet and lifestyle may contribute to a worrisome increase in early-onset cancers, a situation viewed as a potential emerging global epidemic.”
Izbicka, E. & Streeper, R. T., (2023) Cancer drug development yesterday, today and tomorrow. Oncoscience. doi.org/10.18632/oncoscience.583.